We were a lot closer to seeing a Forrest Gump sequel than originally thought. On the original movie, Eric Roth won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and he has just revealed that he actually finished the screenplay for a sequel. Roth even goes into story details and why the sequel ultimately never ended up happening. As for those story details, they are pretty insane when compared to the original movie and it's probably for the better that the project never went into production.
Since Forrest Gump was such a huge success, one can imagine that the studio was practically drooling over the idea of a possible sequel. So, one was put into development and Eric Roth was back at the drawing board to write the screenplay. It's not clear how much time Roth spent on the screenplay, but he ended up turning in his finished draft with some pretty bad timing, which helps to explain why the sequel never happened. Roth explains.
"Literally, I turned it in the day before 9/11. Tom and I and (director Robert Zemeckis) got together on 9/11 to sort of commiserate about how life was in America and how tragic it was. And we looked at each other and said, 'This movie has no meaning anymore,' in that sense."
While the timing of the script was unfortunate, it's the story of the Forrest Gump sequel that may have been the real reasoning behind its failure to launch. The story was going to take place with Gump in the 1990s where his young son was going to have AIDS and kids weren't going to want to ride the bus with him.
"It was gonna start with his little boy having AIDS. And people wouldn't go to class with him in Florida. We had a funny sequence where they were (desegregation) busing in Florida at the same time, so people were angry about either the busing, or kids having to go to school with the kid who had AIDS. So there was a big conflict."
Already, things are off to a bleak start. Keeping things in tradition, the sequel was also going to rely on historic events. Eric Roth had this to say.
"I had (Forrest) in the back of (O.J. Simpson's) Bronco. He would look up occasionally, but they didn't see him in the rearview mirror, and then he'd pop down."
While the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase is a part of American history, it really doesn't seem like a good fit for Forrest Gump. Simpson was on the run after being accused of brutally murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman. Seeing Gump pop up in that Bronco may have been seen as bad taste, especially for the victims' families. As for why 9/11 played a part in sinking the sequel, that is touched on more specifically by Eric Roth. You can read what he had to say below.
"The big event in that, which you could see was only diminished in tragedy, I guess, because it's the same tragedy. Every day he'd go wait for his native American partner. She taught nursery school at, sort of a government building in Oklahoma City. And he was sitting on the bench waiting for her to have lunch, and all of the sudden the building behind him blows up."
Forrest Gump 2 would have been loosely based on the 1995 book "Gump & Co." by Winston Groom, who wrote the original novel upon which the book was based. The book saw Forrest running rampant through the 80s and some of that would have wound up in the movie. There was also a scene where Princess Diana shows up for a cameo.
"I had him as a ballroom dancer who was really good, he could do the (rotation) ballroom dancing,'' Roth said. "And then eventually, just as sort of a charity kind of thing, he danced with Princess Diana."
One can easily see how Forrest Gump could adapt to these situations, but it is definitely for the better that the sequel never happened. These ideas almost sound like they were cooked up by the writers of Family Guy to spoof a possible sequel to the beloved movie. With that being said, we'll never know if Tom Hanks, Robert Zemeckis, and Eric Roth would have been able to pull this one off. Fans can be glad to know that a Bolllywood remake of the original is on the way. You can watch the interview with Roth below, thanks to Kevin Polowy from Yahoo's Twitter account.